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Appearing at Kimball's Carnival

 Friday June 6 and Saturday June 7.

Kimball’s Carnival is located at 522 Second St in the hip Waterfront District of Oakland’s Jack London Square

For more information call 510.444.6979


Ricardo Lemvo was born in the African metropolis of Kinshasa, Congo (formerly Zaire), where he first became seduced by the Cuban sounds and African American soul music that were taking Africa by storm in the early 70's. His group Makina Loca produces a unique musical experience by featuring horn-fueled big band sound, adding melodies of African soukous and rumba mixed with a wealthy dose of Cuban salsa and son.

Ricardo Lemvo had grown up listening to Cuban music and remembers being inspired by bands such as Orquesta Aragón, Arsenio Rodríguez, Sonora Matancera and Abelardo Barroso. The melodies, passion of the music, drum rhythms and Afro-Cuban inspired voices of these bands deeply touched an emotional chord in him.

In 1972 Ricardo Lemvo came to Los Angeles, planning to study political science but instead began creating music that embodied the essence of African and Cuban music.  

In 1990 Makina Loca - whose name is a word play on the Spanish "maquina loca " meaning "crazy machine" - was born, blending African soukous and rumba together with Cuban salsa and son.  His music combines Portuguese and Lingala in with Salsa’s typical Spanish. Over the past 10 years Makina Loca has become internationally recognized as one of the greatest World Music ensembles.

"In 1990, Mr. Lembo formed Makina Loca producing a fusion. Congolese rumba and Cuban son montuno. This idea was not new. The foundation had been laid by the founding fathers of Congolese rumba-Grand Kallè & African Jazz, Tabu Ley, Dr Nico Kasanda, and Franco's T.P. OK Jazz. In the 1950's and 1960's, Congolese bands were performing Cuban songs in phonetic Spanish as well as adapting the arrangements to fit Congolese languages. This is how Congolese rumba and soukous came to be...

[According to Mr.Lemvo]

‘With Makina Loca my goal has been to expand Kallè and Franco's ideas by africanizing the soul of Cuban music-son montuno. The introduction of Congolese guitar, and singing in Kikongo, Lingala, and Spanish has enabled me to create a mosaic of sounds. Through my songs, I hope to share my Congolese heritage with others. With Mambo Yo Yo I have continued to develop the idea of synchronizing the sounds of my Congolese roots with those of Cuba's African diaspora..."

Excerpt from Ricardo Lemvo biography from http://afrocubaweb.org/ricardolemvo.htm#bio